1

Which of the following is correct?

washed his right then left hand

washed his right then left hands

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  • 3
    Hands sounds funny to me; I'm not making claims of correctness here, but generally an individual (his) only has one right and one left hand. One can wash one's hands, but if you're going to name them individually, I'd go with hand, singular. – anongoodnurse May 3 '16 at 21:58
  • That was my first impulse but I figured I'd get an extra pair of ears on this. – Omar Meky May 3 '16 at 22:00
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    What about "washed his right hand, then his left one".? – TrevorD May 3 '16 at 22:32
  • Why wouldn't you just say "washed his hands"? – nnnnnn Jun 13 '16 at 0:46
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There are many ways of expressing the thought I think your are thinking! Here are just a few:

  • I washed his right hand and then his left hand.

  • I washed his right hand first and then his left hand.

  • I washed his hands, first the left and then the right.

  • I washed his right hand first, and his left hand second.

  • I washed both his hands, first the left and then the right.

  • I washed his hands, left then right.

I could go on, but I won't. My point in giving you so many options is simply to demonstrate the multiplicity of ways in which you can say--in English, anyway--basically the same thing.

  • Why "I", wouldn't "he" be the normal subject? Or you could use "my" if you wanted to keep "I"? – Mari-Lou A Oct 11 '16 at 7:12
  • @Mari-LouA: I'm not sure I'm pickin' up on what you're layin' down. Don – rhetorician Oct 11 '16 at 13:16
  • He washed his left hand, and then his right hand. OR I washed my left hand, etc.. Or simply He washed his hands. The OP, in his question, doesn't say there are two people.. – Mari-Lou A Oct 11 '16 at 13:36
  • @Mari-LouA: Oh . . . duh! Forgive my obtuseness. Thanks. Don – rhetorician Oct 11 '16 at 13:50
0

washed his right then left hands

Saying this implies that there were more than one hand on each side of the body. Caterpillars in comics, with three hands on each side, may do that.
________%ϕϕϕoooɗ_________

:)

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